PROUD CLUB: Lockyer Valley Turf Club president Terry Kirkwood said the club wanted to preserve the Laidley horse racing history.
PROUD CLUB: Lockyer Valley Turf Club president Terry Kirkwood said the club wanted to preserve the Laidley horse racing history. ALI KUCHEL

Laidley cup to hit home straight

BEFORE the Laidley Recreational Reserve was built, the land often felt the thundering of hooves.

It was home to the Laidley racetrack, which back in the day held about six race meets a year.

After the track closed in the early 1970s and the Laidley and Gatton shires amalgamated, the decision to honour the former club and community was recognised.

Fast-track to today and the Lockyer Valley Turf Club is busy putting on the final touches for Saturday's 2019 Laidley Cup.

"(It's) in recognition of the two clubs back in the 1970s and the support today's club gets from the Laidley community," LVTC committee member Mick Brennan said.

As a youngster, Brennan would run laps of the track and said it was a small course about 1km long.

"Where the horses turned into the home straight is where the war memorial is," he said.

This Saturday's Laidley Cup at the LVTC will be the third time the Gatton club has paid tribute to its former counterpart.

Club president Terry Kirkwood has plans to keep the tradition rolling, provided the club receives adequate Saturday race meets for the 2019-20 calendar.

"Originally, we had a Saturday we didn't have anything planned for," he said.

Although the Laidley Cup was before his time, Kirkwood felt the need to honour the former track and club.

"We are all one shire now, so it's good to have a Laidley Cup," he said.

It's the second year Haymans Electrical Gatton have gotten on board as the major race day sponsor.

The open benchmark, 1600m race will take the prime spot later in the afternoon and will be supported by an additional six races.

Kirkwood is expecting good-quality racing, with the club having spent $30,000 renovating the track earlier this year.

"Jockeys have ridden out on the track (earlier this year) and said to me it was the best track out here they had ever ridden on," Kirkwood said.

"We haven't stopped irrigating, and with the dry weather we have been impressed with how the track has held up."

The club also hosts two additional feature Saturday events throughout the year - the Gatton Cup and the Lockyer Valley Regional Council race day.

What you need to know

When do the gates open?: Entry is from 11am.

When is the first race?: Approx 12.40pm for race one

How many races are there?: At this stage, there are seven races on the card.

What facilities are available?: On race day there will be bookies, TAB, bar, food by the Girl Guides and a cake stall. There will also be a mobile eftpos machine and a self-help terminal to look up form guides.

What are the fashions on the field details?: FOTF nominations are from 12.30pm, categories include young ladies 18-35, ladies 36 and over, gentlemen and couples.

Where is the track located?: 1 Spencer Street, Gatton.


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